An Update on Apple iOS 14.5

Apple’s latest update is shaking the nation, and honestly, we’re not that surprised. The tech giant is known to roll out frequent product updates and features, but this one’s a little different – especially for digital marketers. We’ve compiled a list of the good (and not so good) takeaways about the recent iOS 14.5 update and its impact on digital advertising. 

First, the good news. 

Let’s begin with what we know. This change is all part of a larger effort to protect consumer data. So, if you own an iPhone, you can expect more privacy in your online activities. More protection online means a more secure environment for us all. But if you’re a business owner, digital marketer or social media advertiser, you may think otherwise. You’re likely asking… “how will iOS 14.5 affect me, personally? Yes, there may be some new changes and limitations. But if the past year has taught us anything, it’s that we need to learn to adapt. 

Having a better understanding of how the update may affect your efforts can ease your concerns and help you take the necessary steps to move forward. And chances are, it won’t be as much of a hit as you’re anticipating. 

Three Main Changes Digital Marketers Can Expect 

1. Tracking Online Behaviors & Engagement  

It’s the prompt heard ’round the world. Okay, not really, but it’s definitely a key player in all the hype. It’s part of Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) model – which is essentially its data sharing and privacy policy. If you’re an iPhone user running on the latest version of iOS, you may have noticed a prompt asking you to grant permission for apps to track and use your data. For example, Facebook and Instagram are now required to give users the option to allow apps to track their activities, including the pages they’ve visited, purchasing behavior, and more. 

It’s expected that most users will choose to opt-out of data sharing, making it more difficult to deliver relevant ads. For example, if the goal of your campaign is to reach users who have shown an interest in your competitors’ products, you may need to rethink the way you’re retargeting these individuals. Consider creating a custom audience by uploading a customer or prospect list and create a look-a-like group. There are many unique capabilities and tools within Facebook that are still available to use. 

A Question You Should be Asking… 

How will iOS 14 affect my data and website analytics?

Luckily, Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to capture data about your website visitors. Your company owns this information. In other words, your business still has the right to collect user data through its own resources and tools, such as Google Analytics and HubSpot. This update primarily affects third-party data, which is any information purchased or collected by an external platform used for retargeting purposes. You should see no difference in the types of metrics you can report on, including website visitors and purchases, and can still use this data to your own unique advantage. 

2. Measuring & Reporting on Facebook Conversions

With Apple’s latest update also comes a limit on the amount of Facebook conversion events we can track. Advertisers will only be able to measure eight conversion events per domain (fancy word for website). This means businesses will need to prioritize their most important events, such as a website purchase or page view, to optimize current campaigns.  

It’s a great time to audit your existing Facebook ad performance and determine the best plan of action based on your findings. Identify the main KPIs for each campaign and align them with your event tracking. We also recommend verifying your domain on Facebook if you haven’t already to ensure you have full access to your business’s tracking and conversion capabilities.  

3. Digital Ad Frequency & Delivery

Simply put, online advertising is being restricted from the data that allows platforms to deliver personalized and relevant paid messages to an audience. As more and more people update to iOS 14.5, the size of retargeting audiences will likely shrink over time, affecting ad delivery and performance. The amount of times one advertisement is shown to an individual will also be affected as it continues to become more difficult for platforms to identify who has already seen or interacted with an ad.  

Key Takeaways & Next Steps 

As with any change, the uncertainty can be overwhelming. But, don’t panic. There are plenty of solutions available to help grow your business and create new demand for your products and services. Below are a few quick tips –  

  • Don’t forget about organic content marketing 
  • Focus on sharing high-quality content to build brand trust & authority 
  • Rely more on Google Analytics to build custom audiences based on behavior 
Food for Thought 

We may be biased, but we definitely don’t recommend opting out of data sharing. You and your customers can expect to see the same amount of advertisements, just less relevant to your interests and needs, making for a not-so-good user experience.

PALO Creative® is always up-to-date with the latest changes and trends and takes them strongly into consideration when managing digital advertising campaigns. Our team works far in advance to plan for updates and has access to several reputable sources to prepare for these advancements. If you have any questions or concerns, we ask that you click below to submit a question.

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